Fifty Minute Classroom

Sep 24, 2020, 4:13

50-Minute Classroom: Foodservice Economics

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 00:00

weinerYour students will groan with shock and surprise to learn that for every $100 in sales a foodservice operation earns only $4 to $7. But your job is to show them the real world they’re training to excel in.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

At the June 2011 CAFÉ Leadership Conference roundtable discussion on the 50-minute classroom, one of the concerns raised was that students have no idea of foodservice economics. They have grown up watching “Iron Chef” and “Master Chef,” where expensive ingredients like truffles and caviar are tossed around like water. They have watched “Hell’s Kitchen,” where allegedly experienced chefs mishandle and mis-cook scallops, lobster and lamb, yet still remain eligible for the grand prize of running a restaurant.

50-Minute Classroom: Motivation

Saturday, 01 October 2011 23:04

weinerEducators attending the 2011 CAFÉ Leadership Conference shared scintillating tips that successfully motivate students. Among the biggest? Remember why you started cooking, and why you started teaching.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

At the June 2011 CAFÉ Leadership Conference in Providence, one of the hot topics was how to keep students motivated. We had instructors from England, Canada and all parts of the United States, and this was identified as a universal problem. Interestingly enough, it was an issue for high-school, vocational, college and culinary-school instructors.

Here are some of the ideas from the 50-Minute Classroom roundtable discussion, as well as other lectures and informal discussions:

50-Minute Classroom: Assessing Culinary Math Skills

Thursday, 01 September 2011 00:00

weinerTake a 50-pound bag of carrots and peel and chop 40 pounds of them. What percentage is that? The following 25 questions not only indicate math areas where students might be weak, but also teach basic culinary and management skills.

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

At the June, 2011 CAFÉ Leadership Conference in Providence, one of the hot topics during roundtable discussions at the best-practices seminars and social meetings was the problem of students of all levels (high school, vocational and college) not knowing basic math skills. Surprisingly, the most consistent comment was that new culinary students cannot read an analog clock.

I had the honor of leading a roundtable discussion, and one of the questions posed was: “How do you assess culinary math skills?” In my vocational program, I give the students the test below, and then we go over each answer in detail. If most of the students missed a particular problem or problems, I create extra examples using the same type of math skills. It takes more than one class to do this, but I find it is time well spent.

50-Minute Classroom: Teaching Baking in 50 Minutes

Thursday, 28 July 2011 13:31

By Adam Weiner, CFSE

weinerChef Weiner suggests five steps to help students overcome their reticence toward baking.

Teaching baking in 50 minutes has some unique challenges. But it is more challenging to realize that we are teaching a generation who have not only grown up without seeing their parents bake from scratch, but have also grown up not seeing their grandparents bake from scratch. With Betty Crocker's first cake mix coming out in 1943, baking from scratch at home has become a lost art.

Fortunately, baking at home and in restaurants is making a comeback. However, we have to help our students overcome their shyness of baking. Here is a proposed 5-Step Program:

1. Start Simple and without Explanation. Divide your students into groups, give each group the same chocolate-chip-cookie recipe, and have them go at it. Stand back and don't get involved. Each group will produce a very different-looking and tasting cookie.

50-Minute Classroom: Help Your Students Keep Their Jobs

Friday, 29 April 2011 11:50

By L. Adam Weiner, CFSE

weinerMind the chef, don’t steal and watch food costs. Students should live by these and eight other essential dos and don’ts to remain employed in that job for which you’ve trained him or her.

Last issue I addressed how to help your students get jobs. This issue will be about how to make sure they keep their jobs. Here are 11 key points to cut out and give to your students:

1. Be on Time. Depending on which survey you read, 90% to 97% of firings occur because of failing to arrive on time, not showing up at all and/or leaving early. Timeliness and attendance are so important because the schedule of the kitchen is based on everyone being there, and everyone being on time. If you come in 15 minutes late in the morning, the kitchen will be behind all day.